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Original Christmas Classics [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

Price: £14.33
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Region 1 encoding. (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats)
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Product details

  • Actors: Jackie Vernon, Billy De Wolfe, Jim Backus, Billie Mae Richards, Burl Ives
  • Directors: Abe Levitow, Arthur Rankin Jr., Bill Melendez, Evert Brown, Jules Bass
  • Writers: Barbara Chain
  • Format: Animated, Colour, Dolby, DVD-Video, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Classic Media
  • DVD Release Date: 4 Oct. 2011
  • Run Time: 277 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0057FGCJQ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 187,547 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By master4music on 10 Jan. 2012
Format: Blu-ray
I really don't have to brag too much about these movies. They are simply classics which should be shared with every generation. The movies bring me back to those nostalgic days as children, and yet they give me great comfort as a parent, especially as I watch them with my family.

Pros: Blu-Ray enhancement was very nice and added some good features to the menu.

Cons: Would be nice to have some thumb tabs on either side of the cover box to remove the individual BD-DVDs.

Recommendations: Would have loved to have seen a few more movies in the pack, but they did get the 3 most important.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Caleb Williams VINE VOICE on 9 Dec. 2010
Format: Blu-ray
I won't go into much detail about the stories, characters and other stuff like that as it's highly likely that any parent considering buying this set will be very familiar with the stories. Featuring Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer, Frosty The Snowman, Frosty Returns and Santa Claus is Coming to Town, these are all genuine Christmas classics that can bring the whole family together, and have been given an upgrade to stunning HD to ensure the entire family will enjoy them for more years to come.

Something I would strongly recommend.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
We have not watched the films yet as they arrived after Xmas, shame. But look forwrd to them next year.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 651 reviews
228 of 232 people found the following review helpful
BluRay v DVD 28 Oct. 2012
By Mark E. Stenroos - Published on
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Those considering purchase of the BD or DVD version of this set should realize that the contents of the BD version ARE NOT THE SAME as the DVD version.

The DVD set actually contains SEVEN holiday movies: Frosty The Snowman; Frosty Returns; Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer; Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town; The Little Drummer Boy; Cricket On The Hearth; and Mr Magoo's Christmas Carol.

The BluRay contains ONLY FOUR of these movies. It is missing The Little Drummer Boy, Cricket on the Hearth and Mr Magoo's Xmas Carol. I have no idea why those three movies weren't included in the BD version, especially as the BD format allows one to fit much more information on a single disc than does a DVD. The fact is that all seven films could have easily been contained on TWO BDs. It's doubly confusing as Classic Media's cover art for both the DVD and BD versions is identical. Consumers can't be faulted for making the assumption that both sets contain the same material when the packaging is the same.

And, it appears that Classic Media has put these 4 films on TWO BDs for 2012, rather than the 3 BDs from 2011. What they haven't done is lower the price to a level that won't make the parents cry. A MSRP of $55 for two BDs? Really?

When it comes to the films themselves, my family tends to watch Rudolf, Frosty and Mr Magoo more than the others (Mr Magoo's Xmas Carol is graced by a terrific score by Jule Styne. It is also available separately on BD). Cricket on the Hearth and The Little Drummer Boy haven't made it to BD yet, but you can find the two films coupled on a two-DVD set for under $10.

There is a noticeable uptick in the picture and sound quality of the BD versions, but if push comes to shove and you really want all 7 films, then you won't be disappointed with the DVD version.

Both sets also include the same CD of "The Original Christmas Classics," a 7-track music-only CD that includes Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer; Rockin' Around The Xmas Tree; Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town; Jingle Bells; Frosty the Snowman; A Holly Jolly Xmas; and Jingle Bell Rock. The CD is stuck between the DVD/BD cases in one of those paper CD-R sleeves. Not exactly gala packaging, but then, it is a "bonus," right?
110 of 122 people found the following review helpful
Blu Ray set is OK 12 Nov. 2011
By Stephen Lerch - Published on
Format: Blu-ray
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is my favorite Christmas classic, as it likely it is for many people. Getting it in HD without having to watching it with commercials, is a treat for sure!

In the latest set (2011 release, this review is for the Blu Ray set, NOT DVD set), you only get 2 discs instead of 3. You get Santa Claus is Coming to Town on one discs and Rudolph and Frosty on another disc.

Santa Claus is Coming to Town - looks OK, but for a film in HD, I guess I expected something better. My understanding is this is due to the original masters and not a lack of trying. I would say this looks better than it likely ever did when it aired.

For the audio portion, you get English 5.1/2.0 and Spanish 2.0. For those of you thinking that you'd like to hear the film in 5.1, I can say... don't even bother. To me it sounds like all they've done is done some matrixing of the audio, with the majority of it coming from the center channel, and ALL of the same audio kind of sounds like an echo in the other speakers. A complete and utter waste. Watch it in the original stereo audio for a more genuine aural experience.

Frosty the Snowman - This one looks pretty good. They did a really good job on the restoration of this one (might have been easier being a cartoon, I don't know). Of the three (4 if you count the Frosty Returns extra), this probably was served the best during remastering.

Audio is presented in stereo 2.0 and sounds good. No pops, hiss or crackle.

Rudolph - Every year I see this coming out on home video (DVD, BD... VHS) format, I get excited that this might be the year Rudolph gets the royal treatment. Every year I am disappointed.

Video quality on Rudolph is really good. If you've seen the HD broadcast of Rudolph, you know what this looks like on Blu Ray. They did a decent enough job when they remastered it.

In terms of audio, it's presented in stereo 2.0. No pops, crackle, hisses or any other blemishes.

So if it's so good in terms of audio and video, why am I disappointed? Well, when I grew up I watch Rudolph (during the 80s) with Fame and Fortune as the song Hermey and Rudolph sing. In 1998 they returned to the original film elements for cleaning the show up and at this time they restored the original Christmas classic to it's original presentation, without Fame and Fortune and this is how it has been broadcast since.

However, this alone doesn't get me to drop the star ranking. I actually really enjoy the original as it was first aired in the early 60s.

What bothers me is that year after year, after the 2004 release, they've dropped Fame and Fortune as an extra. At least on the 2004 DVD I could watch and hear the song, even if it wasn't embedded in the video.

As I know how DVD/BD creation works, to some small extent, while it would be some work, it wouldn't be terribly difficult to create a DVD/BD that would allow you to watch with either Fame and Fortune OR We're a Couple of Misfits embedded in playback. This is a gripe, and if Fame and Fortune was at least included as a bonus, I'd have been much happier.

The other thing I hope for is a complete release. As above, give me Fame and Fortune in some fashion, but how about also restoring the Rankin intro from the 2004 DVD? How about giving us the GE commercials, the commercials that aired in the early 60s with the show, that used the Rudolph puppets to advertise for different GE products? I actually have these on DVD in a raw, non-restored format, and even if they included them without cleaning them up, I'd be so happy! How about an interview with the official Rankin/Bass historian, Rick Goldschmidt on the show?

And as a bonus, we get "Frosty Returns." I have no idea what Classic Media was thinking, but they put this on the Blu Ray in SD format. It plays back in 480p. This wouldn't be so bad, but the video is wretchedly horrible. Audio is OK, but the video issues are glaring.

Over all, I'm not sure the set is worth $30. It's essentially the same release as last year, without the third disc, so if you already have last year's (2010) release, you don't need this one. The audio and video is good given the original source material, but there's so much more that could be done with these classics, yet Classic Media seems to be satisfied by putting out "good enough" releases instead of taking the year between each release to really pull together something magical and worth rebuying.

On a final note. Keep in mind that Mr Magoo and the others, are NOT on the Blu Ray. You ONLY get Rudolph, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Frosty and Frosty Returns. The DVD does indeed have more shows. Not sure why Classic Media did this, but they did.
83 of 95 people found the following review helpful
Blu Ray Review 14 Oct. 2010
By Tyson - Published on
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Alright, so I got this collection in the mail today and popped all 3 movies in to see how the transfers look.

Overall, I'm fairly disappointed. I think Rudolph looks the least remastered. It might just be because the setting is so white but there's very little detail and often the lighting was inconsistant (though that's probably stuck in the original film). Santa Claus is Comin' to Town looks the best. There's lots of nice, vibrant colors in it. Frosty is somewhere in the middle. The audio is incredibly soft on all 3 and not really worth noting. I'd be very interested in a more professional review from someone who knows more about the original negatives and whatnot, but as for my eye-based review I'd give it an overall C-grade.

There are, of course, some improvements. I've yet to see a 1080p transfer that doesn't do any good, but, to be honest, I wish I had been able to resist and saved $30. At $15 I'd be satisfied, but not $30.

As for bonus features there aren't any except the not-so-classic "Frosty Returns" and a CD featuring a collection of favorite Christmas songs.

Here's the tracklist of the bonus audio CD:

01. Burl Ives - Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
02. Brenda Lee - Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree
03. Jackson 5 - Santa Claus is Coming to Town
04. Smokey Robinson & The Miracles - Jingle Bells
05. Jimmy Durante - Frosty the Snowman
06. Burl Ives - A Holly Jolly Christmas
07. Bobby Helms - Jingle Bell Rock
53 of 61 people found the following review helpful
be advised that the two disc bluray edition only has four of your Christmas favorites... 1 Nov. 2011
By trebe - Published on
Format: Blu-ray
As there are number of collections called "The Original Christmas Classics", and another called "The Original Television Christmas Classics" there can be some confusion about that is included in each set. Particularly as they are all collections of features by Rankin/Bass (except as noted) primarily from the 1960's, and traditionally shown during the holiday season.

"The Original Christmas Classics" DVD set includes the seven features listed below, while the Bluray set with the same name, the subject of this review, only includes the first four titles.

1. Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer (1964 47 minutes)
2. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (1970 51 minutes)
3. Frosty The Snowman (1969 25 minutes)
4. Frosty Returns (1992 23 minutes
5. Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol (1962 53 minutes)
6. Little Drummer Boy (1968 25 minutes)
7. Cricket On The Hearth (1967 49 Minutes)

The Bluray set has two video discs. Disc One contains Santa Claus Is Coming to Town, while Disc Two features Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer, Frosty The Snowman, and Frosty Returns. Apparently all of the features have been remastered and restored to full length. Presentation is full screen, with no subtitles. Some Bluray sets apparently have an audio CD with songs taken from the specials, and some do not.

Santa Claus Is Coming to Town (1970): Rating 4.5 stars
While the legend of Santa Claus may be well-known, this delightful stop action feature delves into his early years, and also explains some of the common myths regarding Santa. The story is told partially through narration by a letter carrier (voiced by Fred Astaire) who delivers mail to Santa at the North Pole. An orphan baby boy is taken in and raised by the Kringle's, a family of toymaking elves. He is named Kris, and when he grows up, the red-haired young man (voiced by Mickey Rooney) leaves home with a big bag of toys. Through the gift of giving, Kris melts the ice cold heart of the Winter Warlock (voiced by Keenan Wynn), and makes a special friend in a schoolteacher named Jessica (voiced by Robie Lester). Kris faces numerous obstacles, but overcomes them with the help of his friends and family. He marries Jessica, and builds a home at the North Pole. As Santa Claus, he distributes toys to the children of the world.

The improvements made in the stop action technique, make for a smoother looking and more lifelike presentation, and the feature looks terrific on Bluray. With a creative uplifting story and some fun songs, this wonderful take on the origin of Santa Claus, is great family entertainment.

Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer (1964): Rating 3.5 stars
A true holiday classic, Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer features Burl Ives, a warm, teddy bear of a man, lending his unforgettable voice to Sam the Snowman, the narrator of this tale. Rudolph (voiced by Billie Richards) the son of Donner, runs away from home in shame, when his glowing red nose is discovered. In the woods, he meets Hermey (voiced by Paul Soles), an elf who dreams of becoming a dentist. The pair team up with prospector Yukon Cornelius (voiced by Larry D. Mann), and after escaping the clutches of the Abominable Snow Monster, they all make their way to the Island of Misfit Toys.

After growing into a young buck, Rudolph returns home, and tracks down his missing parents and friend Clarice, who are being held prisoner by the Snow Monster. With the help of Yukon Cornelius and Hermy, the Snow Monster is defeated, and the prisoners are set free. A raging storm threatens to ruin Christmas, but with Rudolph leading the sleigh team, Santa is able to deliver presents after all.

Memorable characters, an underlying message of acceptance, and quality songs, particularly those sung by Burl Ives, pretty much insures that this will continue to be a beloved holiday classic. The Bluray image is reasonably sharp and blemish free.

Frosty The Snowman (1969): Rating 3 stars
This animated feature narrated by Jimmy Durante, tells the story of Frosty, who comes to life when the magical hat of Professor Hinkle (voiced by Billy De Wolf) lands on his head. Together with his new friend Karen and Hinkle's rabbit Hocus Pocus, Frosty sneaks aboard a train headed north. The trio ends up in the woods, with Hinkle trailing trying to retrieve his hat. Fortunately Santa arrives to save the day, returning Karen home, and taking Frosty with him to the North Pole. Based on the traditional song, Frosty The Snowman is a light and fun tale, probably best suited for young ones. The Bluray looks fine, but probably won't blow you away.

Frosty Returns (1992): Rating 2.5 stars
This animated special was produced by CBS rather than Rankin/Bass, and features narration by Jonathan Winters. Frosty arrives in the town of Beansboro, and becomes friends with children Holly and Charles. A new invention called Summer Wheeze, a canned spray that instantly melts snow, threatens to ruin the town's traditional winter carnival. John Goodman provides the voice of Frosty. Image quality is just average.

Whether this Bluray collection with just four features is a better buy than Rankin/Bass' The Original Christmas Classics (Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer / Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town / Frosty the Snowman / Frosty Returns / Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol / Little Drummer Boy / Cricket on the Hearth), or The Original Television Christmas Classics (Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer / Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town / Frosty the Snowman / Frosty Returns / The Little Drummer Boy), both which have more content, just depends. The remastered stop action features look very good in high definition, however the animated ones seems just average. Unless you are totally in love with Rudolph, and Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, one of the DVD collections might work out better.

If you do have a warm spot in your heart for holiday programming, you will want to at least take a look at all the options. With so many similar products, some with the same name, it is easy to get confused, and Rankin/Bass probably needs to do a better job of making it clear to consumers just what they are buying.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
All your favorites, plus four extras - Christmas spirit in a box! 14 Nov. 2013
By Lisa Kearns - Published on
Format: DVD
I grew up in the 1970s watching most of these movies on TV, and I'm pleased to know my children have grown up watching them too. They've been around for 40-50 years because they are innocent, clean Christmas fun with gentle lessons. They've all been digitally remastered, to sharpen up the sound and colors, but they are the same movies you'll remember from your childhood. Now, instead of waiting to catch them on TV, we can pop in a DVD when it's convenient for us and get in the Christmas spirit.

This is a great value for family viewing, crisper and better than I remember, and it's sure to be a collection you enjoy every year as your family makes Christmas memories.

Disc 1 - Santa Claus is coming to town, and The Little Drummer Boy

Disc 2 - Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer, and Frosty The Snowman

Bonus extra movies - The Little Drummer Boy, Cricket on The Hearth, Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol, and Frosty Returns

I received the *DVD version* of The Original Christmas Classic free from the publisher, in exchange for writing an honest review.
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